An Overview of Column Moving Surface Grinder

Posted on Dec 17, 2020

Column Moving Surface Grinder

A Column moving surface grinder is also referred to as the traveling column surface grinder. It is a machine tool used to provide a precision ground surface. How it differs from the standard surface grinders is that it features a movable vertical column which allows a large workpiece to cross travel on the table.

What Is a Column Moving Surface Grinder?

A Column moving surface grinder also referred to as the traveling column surface grinder is a machine tool used to provide a precision ground surface. How it differs from the standard surface grinders is that it features a movable vertical column which allows a large workpiece to cross travel on the table. You’ll typically use this type of grinder for grinding large workpieces that require higher accuracy. As you may have guessed, this type of surface grinder excels at heavy-duty grinding. To ensure smooth and stable movement, the cross traveling feature enables the column to travel in and out instead of the saddle.

Features of Column Moving Surface Grinders

See some of the common features of a column moving surface grinder as outlined below:

● The machine is characterized by cross travel, which enables the vertical column of the unit to travel in and out rather than a saddle. The unique design provides more accurate grinding for large, heavy workpieces.
● The length of the bed ways is typically significantly greater than the table length to make sure there is no overhang of the table.
● To ensure smooth traveling movements of the table, the longitudinal and cross slideways are usually hand-scraped and coated with high wear resistance material.
● The longitudinal table movement is hydraulic.
● The column traveling movement is motorized with a solid-state relay.
● Spindle rapid traverse is a standard feature, with NC down feed being optional.
● Hydraulic units are able to prevent heat and vibration from slashing the grinding accuracy.
● Some units are equipped with two single-action hydraulic cylinders and piston rods to ensure steady table movement.

:: Read More: The Automatic Surface Grinder for You

How Does the Grinding Process Work?

Surface grinding is the most common form of grinding operations. As with the standard surface grinders, the column moving surface grinders are a finishing process that utilizes a rotating grinding wheel to grind the flat surface of metallic or nonmetallic materials to produce a more refined look. Both the oxide layer and impurities are removed on the surface of the workpieces. The workpieces often undergo this process to achieve the desired surface for a specific functional purpose.

A grinder of this type typically consists of an abrasive wheel, a work-holding component known as a chuck, and a reciprocating or rotary table. The chuck is used to hold the object in place as it is worked on. It is usually done in one of the two ways: ferromagnetic pieces are held in place by a magnetic chuck, while nonmetallic pieces are held in place using a vacuum or mechanical means. A machine vise, also a device used to hold workpieces, is normally used in conjunction with the magnetic chuck to hold non-ferromagnetic workpieces. The vises are typically made from ferromagnetic steel or cast iron. Lastly, the vertical column, which is the essence of a column moving surface grinder, can move workpieces across the length of the bed, attaining higher machining flexibility and accuracy.

:: Read More: Boost the Your Surface Grinder

What Are the Advantages of Column Moving Surface Grinders?

There are some unique benefits that are only found in column moving units. First and foremost, these machines are available in a wide variety of specifications to ensure that each machine can perfectly match the intended production requirements. The column-type surface grinders are typically massive units with a potential maximum grinding length of up to 10 meters or more. Rather than a simple base like the standard grinders, a column moving unit normally adopts a freestanding column foundation separate from the base. This foundation provides maximum support and vibration isolation for large, heavy workpieces as they travel across the length. 

With the machine this size, the slideways are uniquely designed as well to ensure optimum performance. Many moving column models are equipped with two flat sideways at the center of the machine. This not only leads to ultra-smooth movement but the special geometry also prevents any heat defamation issues from arising. Column units also excel at working on vertically large workpieces because the beam elevator uses a hydraulic tank and special hydraulic braking system to make sure that the positional accuracy is always maintained. 

The cross-side design is also another defining feature of column-moving surface grinders. The beams adopt cast iron box ways to keep grinding vibration at the minimum. And features like the steel guideways with needle rollers help achieve micro-movement accuracy. The roller bearings along with the high precision ball screws are able to handle a large portion of the loading so only a small portion is applied to the box ways. This hugely facilitates positional accuracy and smooth movement while making sure machine chatters become negligible. Furthermore, air counterweight balance can also be achieved, making sure that all of the power is transmitted into heavy cutting without the danger of significant chattering. 

Last but not least, one truly exceptional benefit of the column moving surface grinders is that the grinding is often programmable, coupled with CNC capability. Programmable convex grinding can be achieved through the smart control panel without the need for structural adjustments. However, do keep in mind that not every grinding machine manufacturer is capable of the programmable option.

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